Volume 3, Issue 1, pages 1-16
Diederik Aerts [Show Biography] and Massimiliano Sassoli de Bianchi [Show Biography]
Diederik Aerts received his MSc in Mathematical Physics in 1975, from Brussels Free University (Vrije Universiteit Brussel-VUB). For his doctorate he worked at the University of Geneva with Constantin Piron, on the Foundations of Quantum Theory, obtaining his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics in 1981 from VUB, with Jean Reignier. In 1976, he started working as a researcher for the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (NFWO), where in 1985 he became a tenured researcher. Since 1995, he has been director of the VUB’s Center Leo Apostel for Interdisciplinary Studies (CLEA), where researchers of different disciplines work on interdisciplinary projects, and in 2000 he was appointed professor at the VUB. From 1990, he has been a board member of the ‘Worldviews group’, founded by the late philosopher Leo Apostel. In 1997, he became Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Foundations of Science (FOS). He was the scientific and artistic coordinator of the ‘Einstein meets Magritte’ conference, where some of the world’s leading scientists and artists gathered to reflect about science, nature, human action and society. He is also head of the research group Foundations of the Exact Sciences (FUND). His work centers on different foundational aspects of quantum mechanics, both from the axiomatic and interpretational point of views, and in more recent times he has investigated the applications of quantum structures to new domains. In particular, he is one of the recognized pioneers of the emerging field called ‘quantum cognition’, which applies the mathematical formalism of quantum theory to model cognitive phenomena. For more information, see the author’s personal website (http://www.vub.ac.be/CLEA/aerts) or Wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diederik_Aerts).
Massimiliano Sassoli de Bianchi graduated in physics from the University of Lausanne (UNIL), Switzerland, in 1989. From 1990 to 1991, he was an Assistant of Constantin Piron, at the Department of Theoretical Physics (DPT) of the University of Geneva (UNIGE). In 1992, he joined the Institute of Theoretical Physics (IPT) at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), and there he obtained his Ph.D. degree in physics in 1995, with Philippe A. Martin. Since 1996, he has been working in the private sector and as an independent researcher. He is the director of the Laboratorio di Autoricerca di Base (LAB), in Lugano, Switzerland, and a research fellow at the the VUB’s Center Leo Apostel for Interdisciplinary Studies (CLEA). He is also the editor of the Italian journal AutoRicerca. His research activities focus primarily on quantum scattering theory, the foundations of quantum mechanics, consciousness studies, and more recently also quantum cognition. For more information, see the author’s personal website (http://www.massimilianosassolidebianchi.ch).
The purpose of the present note is twofold. Firstly, we highlight the similarities between the ontologies of Kastner’s possibilist transactional interpretation (PTI) of quantum mechanics — an extension of Cramer’s transactional interpretation — and the authors’ hidden-measurement interpretation (HMI). Secondly, we observe that although a weighted symmetry breaking (WSB) process was proposed in the PTI, to explain the actualization of incipient transactions, no specific mechanism was actually provided to explain why the weights of such symmetry breaking are precisely those given by the Born rule. In other words, PTI, similarly to decoherence theory, provides a physical basis for the transition from a pure state to a fully reduced density matrix state, but doesn’t explain a quantum measurement in a complete way. On the other hand, the recently derived extended Bloch representation (EBR) — a specific implementation the HMI — precisely provides such missing piece of explanation, i.e., a qualitative description of the WSB as a process of actualization of hidden measurement-interactions and, more importantly, a quantitative prediction of the values of the associated weights that is compatible with the Born rule of probabilistic assignment. Therefore, from the PTI viewpoint, the EBR provides the missing link for a complete description of a quantum measurement.
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